The Gravitational Pull Of The Familiar

Jun 22, 2022

Everyone wants to increase their circumstances, but that requires thinking differently and becoming a different version of you. Not everyone is growth oriented and willing to make radical changes in their lives. For those who are, we get to realize the sheer amount of effort required in making changes stick. 

Here's a cool illustration to represent the effort required to make a significant change in your life: 

The moon is 238,900 miles from the earth. The earth's atmosphere is only 62 miles wide, and then you're technically out of the gravitational force field of the earth's pull and in outer space. When a spacecraft takes off from earth to go to the moon, it uses 80-85% of the total fuel it carries to go 62 miles. It uses the other 15-20% to travel the rest of the way to the moon and back. Gravity consumes fuel. It takes power, thrust, and massive amounts of energy to break the grips of gravity.  

We're not always successful at making substantial changes in our lives. In the story above, you are the rocket, the earth is your current circumstances, the moon is your goals, and the fuel is the power, thrust, and energy required to break beyond the gravitational pull of the familiarity of who you are and your current circumstances.  

Now do you see why change is so hard? 


The Reason for Making a Change 

Human beings are interesting creatures. Most of us are pain motivated. The lure of wealth, success, and happiness is oftentimes not enough to encourage most of the population to make changes to improve their circumstances.  

I was on a training with a super popular spiritual teacher, and he helped me understand that when someone says they want more but are unwilling to make the necessary changes to create more, there's one single reason: there's not enough pain in their lives.  

The human mind loves the familiar. All change brings about uncertainty. Uncertainty is the mortal enemy of the fear-based mind. Therefore, change is the enemy of our fear-based chemistry and biology.  

Oftentimes if there's not enough pain, a human will consciously and/or unconsciously make decisions to continue to create certainty and familiarity. They say they want better, why do they choose the same? 


Familiar Misery Versus Unfamiliar Relief 

Believe it or not, I've witnessed people inside and outside of my business fight to maintain their misery. They fight to hold on to their diagnosis, they fight to hold on to their pain, they fight to hold on to beliefs which cause them stress and struggle, they fight for their limitations, and they fight for their pain-based identity. Before I knew better, I would have assumed that all people would easily let go of their current circumstances to create better, but that's just not the case.  

Some people fight to the death to hold on to their familiar misery. They will tell you they don't want to be miserable, but they just won't let it go and they just won't choose more. Whether consciously or unconsciously they fear the uncertainty of more wealth, success, and happiness. Mind-boggling.  

The war within us is real. Some choose familiar misery over unfamiliar relief, and there's nothing anyone can do to convince them to make a better choice. They are literally stuck by their own choosing.  


Let's Bring It Back to the Moon 

Let's get back to the story of the spacecraft. There are people who choose to create better circumstances, and then they struggle to understand why change is not instantaneous. Change takes time, repetition, practice, and effort. The unconscious mind fights to stay the same regardless of what the conscious mind chooses. The unconscious mind holds the programming in your genetic operating system, and that code needs to be rewritten.  

Think of your unconscious mind trying to remain the same as your gravity. Your unconscious mind will continue to bring you back to familiarity to keep you alive. It's a survival mechanism. Even when you've consciously decided to break out of the familiar misery of your current programming, it still takes time, repetition, and lots of compassion and self-forgiveness to reinvent yourself. Gravity. You are fighting against gravity as in the story above.  

When you decide to make a change in your life you will need to spend a significant portion of your own fuel - physical energy, emotion, mental capacity - to break the gravitational force field of your current personality and character. It requires committing and going all-in on making the change stick, and when you falter, and you will falter, forgive yourself and begin again.  


Rewriting Mental Stories 

One of the biggest challenges many face (including me) is rewriting our mental stories, or the beliefs and thoughts we experience, and the self-talk we engage in. What's happening in our mind is very much habitual. Your best thinking got you here, so to get anywhere else you need to think differently.  

Negative self-talk is our baseline communication style with ourselves. Trust me when I say I used to be a champion negative self-talker, and now my inner dialog is delightful. That change required commitment, resilience, practice, patience, and lots and lots of laughing at myself.  

When you're used to mentally beating yourself up and tearing yourself down, you'll face a gravitational force which needs to be honored and worked with. It's a biological protection mechanism which is trying to keep you (familiarly) safe, and it's doing what it thinks is best for you. The best way to overcome negative self-talk is being intentional in talking more kindly, loving, and respectful to yourself. This will be uncomfortable at first because it's unfamiliar. During the day when you find yourself being harsh, laugh it off and return to kinder, gentler dialog.  

As you continue to return to positive self-talk, you'll notice the new habit forming, and it'll get easier and easier over time. The gravitational pull will lessen when you break the atmosphere of your programmed self.  

Use this same technique for any new decision, practice, or activity that you are implementing into your life. Honor gravity and the sheer volume of fuel required to make change stick.  


Putting it all Together 

You either have a fixed orientation or a growth orientation. If you possess a fixed orientation, I expect that you didn't even make it this far in the article. That means you, Mister or Missus reader, are growth oriented. Understand this about what you've chosen - change is not always easy. Robin Sharma says that all change is scary in the beginning, messy in the middle, and beautiful in the end.  

The scary and messy parts are because you are genetically designed to stay the same to increase the level of certainty in your life. This certainty might be the reliving the same miserable patterns, but certainty is the preference of our DNA.  

You have chosen the path of growth. Keep in mind that you will constantly feel the tug of gravity. When you feel the tug of gravity, double-down and hit the gas. The ride gets a lot easier, it's only the beginning that requires almost all the energy you must give. If you really want change, spend the fuel. All change is beautiful in the end.  

Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash

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